Today, let’s consider how to change your life with daily gratitude affirmations. For real! This post contains information that could possibly change your life for the better! Years ago, changing the way I thought and spoke, using daily affirmations, were a large part in beginning to attack my negative, habitual thinking. In addition to affirmations, I also used thanksgiving as a means to combat those unwanted thoughts. Those who suffer from and with obsessive, scary, negative thinking patterns will tell you, “This is a battle.” And those of us who are standing on the other side of that fierce battle for joy, we can tell you, “Gratitude is a means through that hell in your mind and heart.” But you don’t have to be in the midst of an emotional, mental and spiritual battle for joy–or even your very life itself–to benefit from using daily gratitude affirmations. Let’s look at some science.
- According to a 2005 study, a five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent.
- A 2011 study showed that keeping a gratitude journal helped you fall asleep faster, sleep longer and better.
- In 2005 a study revealed those who kept a “Gratitude Journal” lowered depressive symptoms by 30% as long as the practice was continued.
- Gratitude reduces feelings of envy, makes our memories happier, lets us experience good feelings, and helps us bounce back from stress.
- A 2012 study concluded grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people,
- A psychologist from the University of Birmingham noted in 2013 that the “list of potential benefits is almost endless: fewer intellectual biases, more effective learning strategies, more helpfulness towards others, raised self-confidence, better work attitude, strengthened resiliency, less physical pain, improved health, and longevity.”
Now let’s talk real life and not so clinical. That battle I mentioned I was fighting for my mind; I was so busy being scared, I could not be grateful. Or let me say this, I had to make a serious, conscious and intentional effort to be grateful. All my time and energy was being taken up being scared, anxious, and afraid. Instead of living in fear, I needed to live in gratitude. Instead of being afraid of what might happen; all the scary, obsessive thoughts I was having naturally, I had to make a choice to be grateful for all the good that had already happened.
The process of forming the habit of using daily gratitude affirmations began as a stunted, forced assignment from my counselor–write down 20 things, everyday to be thankful for…no repeats. This unfamiliar process of being grateful began as stunted because I went from 0-20, no repeats. It was forced because, for most of my life, my default was fear. I was not used to living in a place of thanksgiving. And I’ll remind you again, no repeats. I could only use hot chocolate, a pretty sunrise, or my children’s laughter only once. Well, technically, I’ve got 7 children (only 6 at the time)–and yes, yes I did count each one of their laughs as it’s own entry in the beginning…that was not cheating, it was more a process of learning to see. You know how when you come inside to a darker room than outside and it takes a minute for your eyes to adjust…well, it’s the same process when you begin to focus on gratitude; it takes a minute to adjust your sight.
I would love to report that I have journals and spirals with page after page filled with gratitude, but I don’t. I have some scattered here and there…I have a weird thing about journaling. I tend to keep a list for a while, get too busy–whatever that means–and the habit falls by the wayside. Time passes and I start needing a mental tune-up so I go back to the process of keeping track of things I am thankful for. I’m nothing if not honest and real here. And the read deal is, I just had to pick up my old gratitude journal.
If you are struggling with gratitude. If you think Thanksgiving is only a holiday, I challenge you to start a greatitude journal today. I double dog dare you to start with 20–no repeats. Why dip your toe in the gratitude pool when you can cannonball into the deep!
And now for some of those daily gratitude affirmations. Print this list out and hang it on your bathroom mirror (next to the printable, How Does God Feels About Me). Han gthis up in your office cubical or inside your kitchen cabinet where you reach up to get your coffee cup each morning. Wherever you place this printable–use it. Say these daily affirmations of gratitude every single day, preferably out loud. Say them each day and then write your list of 20 people, places or things you are thankful for. I guarantee, repeating these daily gratitude affirmations will help you and teach you how to be a more grateful person.